When the Indeni oil saga started, FDD president Edith Nawakwi, cheered on by the usual suspects, charged the Government of corruption.
They deliberately failed to tell the nation that the feedstock arriving now was ordered and paid for during the time of Acting President Dr. Guy Scott.
During this time there was another controversial purchase of fuel from Trafigura over which a senior Government official has since been dismissed because of a US$20 million payment that the Government of President Edgar Lungu refused to pay.
The impasse over the US$20 million which Government refused to pay to Trafigura, resulted in the shortage of fuel in the country because the company refused to release any further oil to the country until and unless the money was paid.
The Government stood firm and instead contracted Dalbit, which saved the country from a total shutdown as a result of fuel shortage.
In spite of this reality and for the last two weeks, the nation has been treated to variations on the theme of corruption with the underlying message that this Government was corrupt, resulting in the purchase of contaminated feedstock which adulterated and ultimately damaged the Indeni refinery plant in Ndola.
It was alleged in no uncertain terms that some individuals in Government had connived to contract the purchase of contaminated feedstock from which they would benefit and the blame was laid on Government.
The story was repeated several times and people began to believe that the Edgar Lungu regime corruptly procured the contaminated oil.
This was of course totally illogical but was contrived in such a manner that a little bit of truth was “comingled” with a larger lie to make out a very plausible proposition.
For people who understand international trade it must have been clear that a shipment of feedstock could not have been contracted in February and for the delivery to arrive in June.
The lead time for contract signing and actual dispatch is much longer. In this case the truth is that the government signed a contract for feedstock with Gunvor in 2012 and the contract was renewed towards the end of 2014.
The tragedy is that instead of Ms. Nawakwi and her colleagues interrogating the manner in which this most heinous sabotage against the nation and people of Zambia occurred, they chose to play politics and therefore mislead the Zambian people and in the process confuse the reality, or perhaps not.
Therefore the contaminated stock could not have been purchased this year and above all no sane and sensible Government would shoot itself in the foot to import contaminated stock that would damage the plant and thereafter cause a general shortage of fuel in the country.
Whoever provided the stock must have known the damage it would cause to the equipment and above all the political ramifications.
The contaminated crude oil was not a mistake, it was deliberate. Therefore Government has a duty to investigate and punish those behind the dastardly act.
This event reinforces the need for the Government to take very deliberate steps to secure itself from negative and malevolent forces that are determined to bring it down at all costs.